Novgorod Uprising of 1650


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Novgorod Uprising of 1650

 

one of the urban uprisings of the mid-17th century.

The uprising was touched off by rising grain prices after the government had purchased large quantities of grain. In the middle of March 1650, rebellious artisans, some strel’tsy (semiprofessional musketeers), and the urban poor deposed the voevoda (military governor) F. I. Khilkov and destroyed the residences of the “best people,” including those of V. Nikiforov, M. Viaz’ma, and N. Teterin. The rebels elected elders (zemskie starosty) and made I. Zheglov, one of the metropolitan’s officials, head of the municipal government.

On March 17, the Novgorod metropolitan, Nikon, anathematized the new rulers of the city, for which he was beaten by a crowd two days later. The nobleman Solovtsov, who had been sent to Novgorod by Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, was arrested and imprisoned for several days. The rebels unsuccessfully sought to establish links with the insurgents in Pskov. The uprising collapsed owing to the conflict between the city’s lower classes and its prosperous inhabitants, Zheglov’s wavering and inconsistent policies, and the firm stand taken by Metropolitan Nikon, who steadfastly defended the tsar’s interests.

Forces led by Prince I. N. Khovanskii arrived and spent several days outside the city walls, entering the city without opposition on April 13. The leaders of the uprising were arrested, and five of them were executed. More than 100 persons were flogged and exiled to the north, to Astrakhan, and to the Terek.